The Park Service website reads simply "sing traditional working songs aboard a floating vessel."
The songs? Sea chanteys. The vessel? A majestic iron-hulled squarerigger called the "Balclutha". I had no idea how inspiring the experience could be, nor how powerful. It turned out I had inadvertently wandered into a 25 year old San Francisco tradition: the “chantey sing”. This monthly gathering not only serves as a fascinating tie to our maritime history but also happens to be a unique and thriving San Francisco community.
Although I had gone down to the pier with no intention of doing research for a podcast, after five minutes on board I knew that "sparkletack #50" would be the perfect occasion to share this wonderful story.
For further edification: » Hyde Street Pier – National Park Service » Hyde Street Pier virtual tour » chantey history » more chantey history and lots of songs » Todd Menton – chantey featured on Sparkletack
#29: The Legend of Black Bart
#25: Charles Cora and the 2nd Vigilance Committee
#61: Lefty O’Doul — The Man in the Green Suit
sparkletack interrupted… an update
Musical support: Thanks to the amazing Derek Sonderfan for “Knitting Sand”, courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network.
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